Forgive Us Our Spins: Michael Moore and the Future of the Left

Overview

Well written, witty, and wise. Jesse Larner's book goes well beyond its brief: it helps us understand where the left has been going for the last few years, and where it might end up.
—GEORGE MONBIOT, columnist, The Guardian (UK)

"Forgive Us Our Spins is a very smart and well-researched book about the ever-controversial Michael Moore. Larner does a great job at showing why Moore's political and cultural adventures often do more damage than good. And Larner is a man of the left ...

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Forgive Us Our Spins: Michael Moore and the Future of the Left

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Overview

Well written, witty, and wise. Jesse Larner's book goes well beyond its brief: it helps us understand where the left has been going for the last few years, and where it might end up.
—GEORGE MONBIOT, columnist, The Guardian (UK)

"Forgive Us Our Spins is a very smart and well-researched book about the ever-controversial Michael Moore. Larner does a great job at showing why Moore's political and cultural adventures often do more damage than good. And Larner is a man of the left who doesn't make excuses for the right. A concern for decency and the quality of public discussion in this country shine through in this book—a healthy antidote to not just Michael Moore but also the intellectual clowns of the right, like Ann Coulter and Michael Savage. Let's hope Larner's voice is heard by many."
—KEVIN MATTSON, professor, Ohio University, and author of Upton Sinclair and the Other American Century

As the 2004 presidential election approached, Michael Moore repeatedly expressed confidence that his film Fahrenheit 9/11 would have a powerful impact on the outcome of that bitter contest. The talking cogs in the right-wing media machine were happy to agree with him. They foresaw that Moore and his flawed, shallow, and factually sloppy film would be major factors in motivating and energizing their base.

Left, right, or in between, everyone has an opinion about Michael Moore. His books reside on bestseller lists, his films are unfailingly controversial, and his politics range far to the left of any elected official on the national scene. So why is he the only voice capable of bringing progressive issues and ideas to public awareness? What message should the Democratic Party glean from his immense popularity? What impact will Moore and his work have on the future of the left?

In Forgive Us Our Spins, you'll meet Michael Moore as you've never seen him before. This witty, well-written critique of America's most commercially successful radical examines Moore's life and work, reveals the personal history that underlies his political passions, and takes a clear-eyed look at his controversial trouble with the facts.

Love him or hate him, you can't deny Michael Moore's political stature. Is he the champion the left has long yearned for or the kind of friend that's more dangerous than an enemy? Read Forgive Us Our Spins, then decide.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
* After the left's electoral defeat of 2004, filmmaker and all-around provocateur Michael Moore has been an easy target. In his second book, Larner deftly argues why Moore is also a just target. For liberals who never liked Moore but couldn't figure out why, the book provides essential and definitive muckraking, and the reasons why Moore has attained such prominence within America's conflicted self-image. Larner, a staunch liberal whose rage at much of the current administration's policy is palpable, also despises "political work that emphasizes emotional appeal over factual content" from either side. Moore, he argues, is similar to Anne Coulter in producing journalism of false pretext and sleight-of-montage, sabotaging his own credibility and, by proxy, that of the causes he espouses. Hence, the book is foremost an assiduously researched and impassioned exposé of the foibles that have rendered the left so vulnerable to attack. Some will undoubtedly read it as the revolution's devouring its own children. But Larner's undertaking is admirably unflinching: a call for nuance and evenhandedness from liberals who would revile that same reductionism in the right. (Sept.) (Publishers Weekly, June 19, 2006)
Publishers Weekly
After the left's electoral defeat of 2004, filmmaker and all-around provocateur Michael Moore has been an easy target. In his second book, Larner deftly argues why Moore is also a just target. For liberals who never liked Moore but couldn't figure out why, the book provides essential and definitive muckraking, and the reasons why Moore has attained such prominence within America's conflicted self-image. Larner, a staunch liberal whose rage at much of the current administration's policy is palpable, also despises "political work that emphasizes emotional appeal over factual content" from either side. Moore, he argues, is similar to Anne Coulter in producing journalism of false pretext and sleight-of-montage, sabotaging his own credibility and, by proxy, that of the causes he espouses. Hence, the book is foremost an assiduously researched and impassioned expos of the foibles that have rendered the left so vulnerable to attack. Some will undoubtedly read it as the revolution's devouring its own children. But Larner's undertaking is admirably unflinching: a call for nuance and evenhandedness from liberals who would revile that same reductionism in the right. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471793069
  • Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 5/26/2006
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 9.35 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

JESSE LARNER is a graduate of the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. He is the author of Mount Rushmore: An Icon Reconsidered, and his work has been featured on NPR, BBC Radio, and Radio Nation. He has appeared in several documentary films on American politics. He lives in New York City.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments.

Introduction.

PART ONE: CLASS STILL MATTERS.

1. Roots.

2. New Vistas, New Conflicts.

3. A National Stage.

PART TWO: ROADKILL POLITICS.

4. Fun With A Purpose.

5. Take the Gunheads Bowling.

PART THREE: SPOKESMAN FOR THE LEFT: HOW MICHAEL MOORE FOUNDHIS AUDIENCE, AND HIS AUDIENCE FOUND HIM.

6. The Stolen Election of 2000.

7. A Debate About Reality.

8. New York 2004: Among the Republicans.

9. Fahrenheit v. Celsius.

10. Moore Abroad.

PART FOUR: THE ROAD AHEAD.

11. Populism.

12. Terrorism.

13. Prospects.

Postscript: A Challenge for Conservatives. 

Notes.

Sources.

Index.

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